Scammers impersonate the Social Security Administration

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Your Social Security number is an important key for an identity thief. Scammers want it, and they think of all sorts of ways to trick you into giving it away.

Here at the Federal Trade Commission, we’re getting reports about calls from scammers claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. They say there’s been a computer problem, and they need to confirm your Social Security number.

Other people have told us that they have come across spoof websites that look like the place where you would apply for a new Social Security card – but these websites are actually a setup to steal your personal information.

If you get a phone call or are directed to a website other than ssa.gov that is claiming to be associated with the Social Security Administration, don’t respond. It’s most likely a scam.

Here’s some tips to deal with these government imposters:

  • Don’t give the caller your information. Never give out or confirm sensitive information – like your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number – unless you know who you’re dealing with. If someone has contacted you, you can’t be sure who they are.
  • Don’t trust a name or number. Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. To make their call seem legitimate, scammers use internet technology to spoof their area code – so although it may seem they are calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.
  • Check with the Social Security Administration. The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.

If you come across one of these scams, please report it to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271/1-866-501-2101(TTY) and then tell the FTC about it.

Comments

I was victim of a scam few months ago when they got me through a company website which was scammed as well. they offered me a job and send me the welcome documents online and they got all my information. Even though I did the report to this website is unbelievable that authorities can find and stop those people. I still scare that they can do anything with that information.

The FTC has a list of clues that someone might be using your information for idenitity theft. You can read about the clues, and watch for any signs of identity theft in your life. If you see signs of identity theft, report it at IdentityTheft.gov.

When you report, you can get create a recovery plan and get letters and forms to send to businesses to help with problems.

I turned in a family in California that has been using my Social Security number since the mid-90s but no one would do anything. I was told to go to the FTC, then told to go to Social Security, then told to go to the police. Since their fraud (opening cell phone accounts) didn't exceed $40,000 they did nothing. Sure would be nice if someone stopped them! I can't imagine just how many others have this happening.

I had this happen a number of years ago. I was working in a field that allowed access for verification purposes. My baby brother whom had been behind bars for a long time, had a large credit history under his social. A lot of different Hispanic names under his number. I notified Social Security and they informed me they couldn't do anything. Oh well. He's passed on now.

You wrote: contact them directly at 1-800-772-121 to verify This is not a complete number.

We corrected the text: The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213.

Thanks

I WISH WE COULD MAKE THIS CLEAR TO SO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN RECEIVING THIS TRASH. I HAVE RECEIVED MANY SUCH CALLS, PARTICULARLY FROM THE "IRS" TELLING ME I OWE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS -- I AM AN IRS ENROLLED AGENT -- THEY PICKED THE WRONG PERSON TO SCAM.

You have put an incorrect phone# on your site, this is a sign of a scammer. 1-800-772-121?

We corrected the text: The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213.

Your paragraph "check with...." has an incomplete phone number for ssa.

We corrected the text: The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213.

You left a digit out of phone number 800-772-121.

We corrected the text: The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213.

Given all the SSNs obtained in the Equifax breach, I'm somewhat surprised these scammers don't just obtain them on the dark web. Perhaps the dark web asking price is too high...

thank you for your helpful warnings!

I work with Seniors in a Senior housing facility in the Bronx. Would someone be able to come and speak to my seniors about these scams? It is happening very often to them.

Eileen, We don't have staff right now to do that, but we do have free material you can order and share with people. There's a set of material for older adults called the Pass It On material. There are fact sheets and other items about IRS imposters, charity fraud, online tech support scams and much more. Shop and order free material at FTC.gov/bulkorder.

And, the Pass It On campaign page has brief power point presentations and fun activities (word scrambles, word search, etc) to go along, if you'd like to give a short talk.

If you have questions, write to BlogInfo@ftc.gov. Thanks!

Thank you for your good work, as usual. I hope some day there will be methods and techniques to report and to catch these jerks on the spot -- not to mention that it will create jobs!

A lot is going on with the call centers,e.g. mail order rx,call centers are demanding credit card information,meds are being tampered with. Scams are taking place with phone card providers,abuse with credit cards to different providers..eg place an order withb"ebay",Someone else will ship a partial order from "eg amazon" and charge your credit card $99/fee..

This morning I received a call from a man with a very thick Asian Indian accent. Said his name is Sam Jones. Yeah... right.

2 years ago, "Dan" (with an Indian accent) from the IRS told me he would have me arrested if I didn't pay my back taxes. I'm still waiting for my doorbell to ring with an IRS officer holding out the handcuffs.

Thanks for the warnings!

I got an email yesterday had a name on it as to who sent it and it said fill this out and send it back I quickly rikosheyed it.

In addition to the SS impersonators there are FBI impersonators. I received an email yesterday that said I was being investigated for internet fraud and if I didn’t respond to there message or call them within 24 hours a warrant would be issued for my arrest. I immediately knew it was a scam and deleted. So beware.

Yes I do need social security card number now

I have a friend who got this call, she called the SSA telephone number to report it.

Thanks for the information I have been inundated with unwanted emails, calls, and piles of JUNK mail and magazines that I never ordered. I have contacted the publisher's they are saying another company? Is sending but they will stop. I don't answer calls with out a name I know, but it's crazy how they continue non-stop harassment calling, email, JUNK mail, I would like to know how to STOP IT. YES I signed up all of our phone numbers for no solicitation, no JUNK mail, etc, but after throwing out a "TREE WORTH of paper, any ideas? I did get a scammer pretending to be IRS, stating that they were taking us to court, I hung up. Thanks.

After getting many of these calls, I finally made up my mine and called up the FBI. I got through to them, and they told me that I could say anything I wanted to the phony's without getting into trouble. My next call from the phony's I let loose every x-rated words I knew. It made me feel so good. After a few more times, I rarely get any more calls from them. It might have been wrong to do, but after all the anxiety they caused me I felt it was worth it.

Take a picture of the email or text(screenshot) with your phone.Don't respond to it.Report it to the correct organization/company by calling them directly at their official number. Pay/invest in a reputable/effective credit monitoring service for all three credit bureaus. If your info is being used, make out police report. Contact all financial and credit card companies, change card #'s, and change passwords, notify all associated with your ID theft. Place fraud alert. Freese or lock credit. Find out!

Thanks again. These timely notices are appreciated.

At what $$$-minimum amount can help/investigation by government be received for identity fraud by a family member or any other criminal that you find has used your SSN and other personal identifying information to impersonate you or obtain cell phone or cable and internet services?

You can help yourself for free. There is a secure government website where you can report identity theft. You will create a report to law enforcement. You can print letters to send to credit bureaus and businesses to show you are an identity theft victim. Go to IdentityTheft.gov for help.

i don't trust my device.

Last year I received couple phone calls from somebody who claim to be from IRS telling me that they had money for me, I replied that they could sent me the check and they hung up on me.....later some months after the same Asian guy call me again with the same story.

How can I help a Sr.citizen relative who in my opinion has been brainwashed by scammers who continue to tell her she has either won money from the Western Union lawsuit (US governemnt won) and they will help her get her money but she has to pay their fee to help AND in recent years have called to say she has a "WINNING" to collect and they will help her do it but she must 1st pay the IRS the tax on the winnings. She send them $ and gets their bounced checks, etc.

I am a senior who keeps getting phone calls from 407-519-2859 . They say they are with Social Security office and want information from me. I get these calls daily. I have spoken to Social Security they say it is not one of there numbers. I believe many seniors would fall for giving them info. that could be harmful to them. Please help stop them from calling folks, Thank You

BLOCK their number. If you don't have a Block Call feature, perhaps your telephone service provider can assist you.

I got a call and they knew a lot of extremely private information that only SSA and my attorney would know. They said they are from SSA, but the conversation was very suspicious.

Randall's the scammer don't trust this guy you won't get a fair case at all

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